Sunday, 8 January 2012

Day 4: Thurs 05 Jan 12 at Alec Kennedy’s (and to Kaitaia)

"Do not disturb until after 9:00 am" said Alec the night before.  Alec was up late shooting possum intruders (bushy, prehensile tailed creatures with monkey hand feet...not ).  His Dog barks at the unfortunate visiting pests, and Alec does the rest with his air gun. They are an imported nuisance that strips trees of leaves and fruit and breed several times a year. Anyway, we got to see Alec "close the loop" (a recycling term):

Alec cuts leg off possum for Dog

Dog enjoys the leg.  He will bury the others as they are chopped off.

After a delicious breakfast of 15 ingredient muesli porridge (I will be bringing home the recipe), we went on the Morning Dog Walk.  We walked up to the homestead of Wally, to whom Alec sold a small rectangle of property. 

Alec at Wally's

Wally has an incredible view, and is off the grid. 

Wally's view...
Wally is an art collector and trustee of the local Art Gallery
these would be at home in the Gallery of Functional Art at Bergamot

this is art co-created by an artist and a spider
Wally made it happen

a local artist using modern sensibilities and Maori materials

Wally's hobby # umpteen--building WW II planes

Wally is off the grid. These two panels and the windmill
(you can see the pole) are his sources of energy.
He has batteries for storage and a back-up generator.

Wally's house from the back

Wally's gardens

Wally's house was about 1/3 of the way up the hill of the Morning Dog Walk...but more of those pix from another day. 

When we got back, I went to Kohukohu village to get some vegetarian and fish provisions and found it to be a 10 x 10 foot version of a 7-11, plus 2 tomatoes and a head of lettuce.  While there, I visited the Art Gallery—which was amazing. Connected to it was the Hokianga Outpost, with seriously pretty summer dresses, made by Leeza—all “about size 10” whatever that means. I may try one on another day.

I went back to Alec’s to find that he and Molly were already off somewhere working.  I left them a note that I was going to go to the main town Kaitaia, which was 50 km away (30 miles). What I didn't know: it would take me an hour in each direction, as 20% of the 50 km trip was curvy up and down mountain roads.  I was lucky to find a small health food store with some bins (lentils; quinoa) and some almond butter, soba and dandelion tea. I also picked up several vegetables, hummus, and the cheapest and best salmon ever at the town supermarket. 

While I was gone, Molly and Alec created a new compost pile, marking it with tires, and gathered some of the cut kikyu grass with a small tractor and trailer to start it up. They also went for a swim in the pond! More on that tomorrow...

Molly found some time to document things for her (approved!) internship.  She also journals and writes to "Ag" (her housemates at the co-op).

Molly journaling on a sunny afternoon...THE sunny afternoon

As it turned out, even though there was a brief rainstorm, it was a brilliantly gorgeous day for the most part. Day temperature high was about 80 degrees F (29 C). The Evening Dog Walk was pretty glorious.  All these views are from Alec's property:

Dinner was salmon, carrots, potatoes, chard and cole slaw.  Salad and hummus for Molly. Yummy. 

Bed about 11:00. Night time temperatures are in fifties or sixties Fahrenheit. The caravan is not heated, but it is comfy. The duvet is cozy.  Better than hot and humid...
bed-gear: nightgown and hoodie


  1. Pictures and descriptions are beautiful. A treat for the reader!

  2. Did Molly cut her hair on this trip? She looks different from the "first arrived" pictures - but hey, maybe it is my eyes or maybe the rain.
    I just can't tell any more.

  3. I think the hair is the same. Let's just say that I think we each got ONE shower the whole week, so it could just be sticking closer to her head...mine certainly did...